6 Ways to Go Green for Baby

Setting up a sustainable home for Earth Day and beyond.

6 Ways to Go Green for Baby


As a pediatrician and a parent of three boys, I have seen products change and the world evolve into a more environmentally friendly place to raise children. With each of my boys, I’ve established a healthier living environment, but also worked on modeling the message that we need to protect our environment and respect it.

Now that I’m a more earth-friendly mom, I’m giving the same advice to my patients, and helping them go green inside and outside their home. From avoiding harsh chemicals in cleaning products to eating more organic and sustainable foods, here’s 6 tips for creating a sustainable home and raising children to care about the environment.


  1. Volunteer! Actions speak louder than words. Model for your children that protecting the earth is important by volunteering with them in environmentally friendly projects.
  2. Choose organic foods. Organically grown foods are grown without use of fertilizers, genetically modified foods, radiation or synthetic pesticides, and these foods are naturally non-gmo. And luckily, choosing organic food for your family has never been easier. Start your baby off right by using organic ingredients early on for first foods. If you are making your own baby food, choose organic ingredients. If you are buying baby/kid food, there’s plenty of organic tasty options that expose little ones to a variety of tastes and textures, from brands like Ella’s Kitchen.
  3. Create a sustainable nursery. When choosing the paint and furniture for your child's bedroom, make sure your choices are free of harmful chemicals. Look for products that are VOC-free and open the windows after painting. The same mindful choices go for everything in the room – including your crib mattress. As babies grow and rollovers happen, it is important to look for a ‘breathable’ mattress vs. organic. Conventional, and even organic mattresses, are typically covered with a waterproof cover that contain PVCs that your child is breathing in so it is important to choose a mattress that does not off gas any noxious chemicals. Choose a mattress that is made from
    food grade polymers and 90% air like The Wovenaire Crib Mattress by Newton, which is 100% sustainable and better yet, washable.
  4. Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your home. Conventional cleaning products are filled with chemicals that are known respiratory toxicants, allergens, neurotoxins and carcinogens. It’s not healthy for you or your children to regularly breathe in. Choose products that are formulated with plant-based ingredients and that disclose all of their ingredients. Are you a do it yourself kind of gal? Fill a spray bottle filled with equal parts water and distilled white vinegar. Non-toxic and effective! If not, there’s some great safe, off-the-shelf options from brands like Seventh Generation or dapple.
  5. Choose carefully when it comes to soaps, detergents and lotions. Choose fragrance free products for washing you little one’s clothing. The fragrance in many products can contain harmful chemicals and irritate your little ones skin. If you’re love a sweet smell, giggle’s new line of lotions & potions uses safe, plant-based ingredients in its bath and body products. However, if the fragrance seems to be irritating your baby's skin then a fragrnace-free option may be best. You can discuss this with your pediatrician if you have concerns.
  6. Avoid plastics. Many types of plastic bottles or food storage containers, both disposable ones and reusable ones, contain synthetic chemicals such as BPA and other toxicants. When storing or buying baby food, choose glass or stainless steel containers, both of which to not emit any gasses or chemicals. If you’re a busy mom on the go, don’t be afraid of using pouches, some of which are actually also recyclable – Ella’s Kitchen and several other brands work with the baby food pouch recycling program Terracycle. You are helping the earth, protecting your children, and you can also save money as well by not buying disposable plastic containers.

When it comes to my boy’s - and my patients’ -- health, I always take the better safe than sorry approach. Exposure to toxins in foods, cleaning products or other areas can have long-term effects on the developing child. Scientists still don’t understand the full impact of these chemicals, but these simple steps -- think of it as “environmental childproofing” -- can help protect your family.

Original illustration by Talia Handler for Well Rounded NY.

In This Article

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    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

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    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

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    Janod wooden doll stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


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    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


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    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

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    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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